The Border places Erika Fatland definitively at the forefront of international non-fiction prose. The Border is a book about Russia and Russian history without its writer ever entering Russia itself; it is a book on the topic of being the neighbours of that mighty, expanding empire throughout history. The enormous cultural differences between the countries that the author visits are eclipsed by the one, common factor, which in different ways has defined them all: Living next door to Russia. The Border narrates the colourful, exciting, tragic and often unbelievable histories that have evolved due to this fundamental, geopolitical condition. At the same time, it is a fascinating and vivid description of the cultures, peoples, landscapes and heroic individuals the author encounters along the border.